The best festivals of 2020, according to Intrepid

Garoka,Papua New Guinea- September 18, 2005: A group of tribal warriors dance at a Sing Sing in Garoka, Papua New Guinea.

Forget Coachella – Intrepid has just released its picks for the hottest off-the-beaten-path festivals for 2020.

The itineraries are designed to connect travellers with locals in a meaningful way, showcasing destinations at their best as they become a mess of colours, culture and fun.

Sarah Clark, Intrepid’s managing director, said these are festivals that come with bragging rights.

“There is no greater party than that of a city welcoming summer when it’s almost constantly frozen in Russia, or when locals in Papua New Guinea attempt to put out fire with their feet,” she said.

“We have scoured the world to find the festivals that will challenge and delight travellers, with a backstage pass to the culture that underpins it.”

The adventure travel company has seen a 108 per cent increase in Aussie travellers joining festival themed tours in the last year, proving that we are a nation on the hunt for unique ways to experience a destination.

Here are Intrepid’s picks for the most unique festivals worldwide in 2020:

Russia Expedition: Permafrost Railway & Ysyakh Festival:

Here travellers can check out stunning, sparsely-populated Far East Russian Siberia via two incredible feats of railway engineering – the Permafrost Express and the historic Baikal-Amur Railway – in the short window of summer.

Your clients can gain insights into life in the Sakha Republic and immerse themselves in the traditions of the Yakut people. Experience the beginning of summer in what is normally one of the coldest cities on earth, revelling in the sun and warmth with locals during the Ysyakh Festival, and celebrate the New Year with the indigenous Sakha people.

Papua New Guinea Firedance Festival:

Travellers head into the Papua New Guinean highlands to experience the cultural Baining fire dance at a local village. On this nine-day trip, travellers will share meals and stories with villagers to get a taste of local life and discovering how the World Wars played out in the Pacific with a visit to the War Museum in Rabaul and underground tour of the Japanese tunnels in Kokopo.

Highlights include incredible performances as traditional Baining dancers attempt to put out a fire using their feet and enjoying a shoreline barbeque while experiencing traditional sing-sing in the Dukes of York Islands.

Classic Rajasthan – Holi Festival:

Trace India’s famous Classic Rajasthan on a fifteen-day trip around North India. On this trip, travellers will stay with one of Rajasthan’s royal families to celebrate India’s famous Holi Festival, also known as the “festival of colours”.

See the Taj Mahal up close and look for tigers on a safari in Ranthambore National Park. Highlights include taking a tour of the lake and marble palaces of Udaipur – India’s most romantic city and learn about life in the Thar Desert while you share a meal with a local family.

Louisiana Mardi Gras Festival Tour:

Ditch Sydney to revel in Mardi Gras in Louisiana in 2020. On this nine-day trip, travellers will experience Mardi Gras at its cultural heart, learn the traditions behind and celebrate Fat Tuesday in New Orleans, listen to traditional jazz and blues and eat authentic down-home cuisine.

Highlights include discovering where the world-famous Tabasco sauce is made, dancing on a parade float in Lake Charles and experiencing good food, swamp adventures and Southern hospitality in Lafayette.

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